We were blessed with a baby shower or 'welcome home' party for each of our kids. So, we were excited about the idea of having a party for Angie, yet wanted to be sure she was not only ready to handle that without feeling completely overwhelmed, but be sure she actually wanted a party. We gave her a few months to settle in and learn more English and when we brought the idea up - she was absolutely thrilled with it!
We wanted to make it a special day celebrating her permanent arrival into our family. We kept the party plans pretty simple - snacks, sweets, family and friends. We have always sought to honor China because we received two amazing gifts from that country - Loe & Ren.
So, we were equally eager to acknowledge and honor Colombia not only for the gift of Angie, but because Angie is 14 and will always have memories and a connection with her birth country.
Yet, she is completely thrilled to be an American citizen, as well! So, we decided to combine the two flags and their colors to help us celebrate our girl.
Both flags have red and blue - but the Colombian flag also has yellow. As we decorated I was thinking that the yellow made everything so bright and cheery - much like our new daughter does.
She really does have a way of adding sunshine to our family and bringing Colombian and American cultures together! Angie loves anything pretty and almost anything with sugar! We had fun shopping for red, white, blue & yellow decorations and candy. The girls counted down the days and repeatedly asked who would be attending!
One of Angie's dear friends, Ashlyn, offered to bake her cake for the party. We ordered some cupcakes to go with it and stuck Colombian and US flags in them.
We ended up with plenty of cupcakes and didn't need to cut into this pretty and VERY delicious cake. So, our little family of 8 devoured it in about 2 days! Oh! Yummy!
To say that we are blessed with support and people to love and pray for Angie is an understatement! We ended up having almost 100 people come celebrate with us! WOW! What a fun day! (And I still need to track down a few groups to get their picture!)
Eloise helped all of the kids who attended make a craft. A paper heart ornament made from recycled maps. God has built our family with His love from all over the world! So, each family was sent home with a tangible reminder to pray for Angie and our family.
The kids played outside...
...and inside. (I think poor Colton is enduring an exam by a couple of very young doctors, perhaps with not so gentle bedside manner!)
We scheduled the party as an open house - allowing 3 hours for people to come and go as it worked with their schedules. We set up some tables and chairs outside and I imagined people coming in - filling out a card, grabbing something to eat and heading back outside. But, within the first hour the house was PACKED with people! It was pretty warm out and so many wanted to stay inside with the A/C. I didn't blame them!
We found a fun little scrapbook with pages holding a variety of pockets. Some designed to hold photos and some are for decorative cards you can buy in theme packs. Such CUTE and SIMPLE scrapbooking! Love it! So, we encouraged everyone to fill out a card for her album.
And I attempted to snap a quick photo of Angie with each family or person that attended. I will print out those photos and she'll put the cards and photos together in her album. Even Vivi went to work after the party designing her own card for Angie's book. :) The book will serve as a great memory not only of her party - but also of God's faithfulness in bringing such wonderful people into her life!
After the party was over the girls sat down together to look at the cards that were given to Angie. I was reading them through tears of thankfulness for the people God has placed in our life who love and support us as well as our girls so amazingly well! The warm words, prayers and powerful scriptures are going to be treasured!
Angie was beaming with joy throughout the entire party. I wouldn't say hosting a party like this for every adopted kiddo is a the best idea. Some personalities would be quite different and this would be not only overwhelming, but downright frightening. But, not this girl - she truly is a social butterfly. She happily posed for picture after picture. She greeted people as they arrived with hugs and worked hard to use some english when conversing with everyone.
Thank you so much to everyone who came to celebrate Angie with us! Many of you prayed for her to come home, many helped at our fundraisers and continue to pray for our family as we all adjust. We are so, so, SO grateful! We have had a lot of adjusting these past 5 months, but Jesus continues to be at work in so many ways in each of our lives. We very much appreciate continued prayer for God to knit our family together, to bring healing for past hurts and trauma and for His joy and peace to permeate our hearts and home.